Who needs the History Channel when you’ve got the Cottagers’ 34th Annual House Tour? This year’s event, which takes place Thursday, July 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., features seven homes that range in age from more than a century old to nearly new.

The sponsoring Cottagers organization consists of 100 women of color who are property owners on Martha’s Vineyard. Their philanthropic mission is to raise money for local charities and organizations through a variety of fundraising efforts. This year is their 61st in operation.

Advance tickets can be purchased in Oak Bluffs at the Cousen Rose Gallery and C’est La Vie, both on Circuit avenue. Tickets may also be purchased on the day of the tour at Cottagers’ Corner on 57 Pequot avenue, beginning at 9 a.m. The cost is $30 per person. Visit cottagerscornermv.org for more information.

16 Myrtle Avenue

16 Myrtle avenue. — Jeanna Shepard

Set within the famed Highlands section of Oak Bluffs, Jocelyn Walton’s grandfather Ralf Coleman, who was known as “the Dean of Boston’s Black theatre,” purchased the property in 1941. Jocelyn and her husband Duncan Walton built the current cottage in 2003, replacing a smaller structure.

A wall of photos in the living room goes back five generations and helps tell the story of lives lived on the same road that was home to writer Dorothy West, Congressman Adam Clayton Powell and his wife Isabel.

Outside there is a bubbling fountain and a garden of perennial and annual plants including salmon-hued impatiens.

14 Myrtle Avenue

12 Myrtle avenue. — Jeanna Shepard

Two doors down from 16 Myrtle avenue, a small, clapboard gray cottage built in 1945 has a brass plaque in front of it honoring Ralf Coleman and Luella (Granny) Coleman. The plaque marks a stop on the African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard. On it, Granny Coleman is celebrated for creating Coleman Corners, which she purchased over the years, lot by lot, until she owned five small lots on each side of Myrtle avenue.

Dorothy West lived next door and the Powells were at the end of Myrtle avenue.

18 Elmwood Avenue

18 Elmwood avenue. — Jeanna Shepard

The brightly renovated home at 18 Elmwood is a short walk from Coleman Corners. Owned by professional landscaper Lee Gilliam, the home and surrounding gardens are a testament to his highly developed design skill and creative eye. Built in 2012, this modern, cottage-style home is accented by colorful antique signage and a dramatic circular staircase that descends to the lower level embraced by a beadboard enclosure.

Stone walls line the property edges, proudly built by the owner himself.

7 Wendall Avenue

7 Wendall avenue. — Jeanna Shepard

The vibrant history of The Highlands continues at 7 Wendall avenue, a classic Oak Bluffs cottage that finally got running water in 1910. Open beam ceilings, fieldstone fireplace, hardwood floors, clawfooted tub, beadboard walls and image-bending swirls in its panes of glass evoke a century of summertime living.

Upstairs in the library hang two large watercolors by Cutie Bowles, an Island artist finally getting her due and the mother of current owner Olive Tomlinson. Ms. Tomlinson is keeping the family art tradition alive with 16 of her own canvases on display.

4 Morgan Avenue

4 Morgan avenue. — Jeanna Shepard

Shearer Cottage is actually an inn that has been in Lee Van Allen’s family since 1903 when it was purchased by Charles Shearer, the son of a white slave master, and his wife Henrietta, a free black woman. It features six efficiency apartments with private baths and kitchenettes. Like the five generations of Shearers before her, Van Allen grew up working as a chambermaid, gardener, dishwasher and whatever else that was needed before becoming the owner.

Easily recognized by its red exterior and comfortable, wraparound covered porch, Shearer Cottage has a guestbook that reads like an honor roll of successful African American professionals. Paul Robeson (singer), Ethel Waters (actress), William H. Lewis (first African American U.S. assistant attorney general), Lilian Evanti (opera), Harry T. Burleigh (composer/musician) and many more have stayed here.

Shearer Cottage is featured in the Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

111 New York Avenue

111 New York avenue. — Jeanna Shepard

Martha’s Vineyard Resort, located at 111 New York avenue, is the vacation spot you’ve never heard about. It was created by Jack E. Robinson, former NAACP president, and his wife Claudette. The resort was designed to be a tennis and fitness hub thanks to Robinson’s infatuation and skill at the game. It features five comfortable rooms and two suites for guests who want to be near Oak Bluffs, but not part of the hustle and bustle of town. Continental breakfast is included with your stay.

Two Har-Tru tennis courts lie behind the two-story, cedar-clad inn. Claudette has been running the resort since 2006 when Jack passed away. She’s celebrating ‘Breakfast at Wimbledon’ at the inn on the morning of the men’s tennis singles final on Sunday, July 16. The television will be on and strawberries and cream will be served. Play begins at 9 a.m. “precisely.”

225 East Chop Drive

The spring-summer home and garden issue of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine features a fine pictorial of Joe Parham’s recently completed home and its spectacular 150-degree view of Nantucket Sound. Built by South Mountain Co. and featuring Parham’s own input and ideas, the one-story residence is a stunning salute to modern living and style.